Bloggers Recommend Challenge – December 2013

The tree is up, the stockings are hung, and there is a chill in the air (well, not really). It’s definitely December.

The December Bloggers Recommend Newsletter should have shown up in your inbox last week, but if it didn’t, you can view it here. This month, the bloggers are recommending previously-released book so you may have already read a few. I’m still hoping to read The Other Typist one of these days.

Anita and I were the only one’s to link up reviews last month. I’m starting to think that this challenge, while a good idea, may not have staying power. I don’t have the free time to spend promoting it and it isn’t happening organically. So I am giving it one last try this month. If you have reviews to link up (from any month’s newsletter), please do, so I know there is interest in continuing.

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Happy reading! ~ Michelle

Bloggers Recommend Challenge – November 2013

Can you believe it is November already? It is not one of my favorite months (I don’t like mustaches, writing 50,000 words, or turkey), but we do get some of the most beautiful weather in Florida this month. I definitely plan to be sitting out on my lanai and reading at some point this month (you know, with all that free time I have after the working and parenting is done).

The November Bloggers Recommend Newsletter should have shown up in your inbox yesterday, but if it didn’t, you can view it here. I haven’t decided which one of these I most want to read yet. Maybe this is my chance to FINALLY read some Joshilyn Jackson (does November seem a little women’s fiction heavy to everyone or just me?). What are you looking forward to this month?

In October, Jennifer from Bookalicious Mama reviewed the Spymistress and Becky from No More Grumpy Bookseller posted a double feature review of Just One Day and Just One Year.

The reviews have been slow to come in, but I totally understand it takes awhile to get to all of these wonderful new releases. Remember, you can link up any review of a Bloggers Recommend book from any of the previous newsletters to this month’s linky. In fact, I am such a good challenge hostess that I just finished my first Bloggers Recommend Challenge book (FanGirl) last week and I never actually linked it to the challenge so I am doing it this month. If you’ve read and reviewed any and forgot to link up before, you can do so right now.

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Happy reading! ~ Michelle

Fangirl [Book Review]

Look guys, I finally read and reviewed a Bloggers Recommend book. Look at me, participating in my own challenge.

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary young adult (new adult?)
Pages: 448
Year: 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: Personal Collection
Rating: 5/5


As Cath and Wren head off to college, Cath feels like her twin sister is leaving her behind. The two used to be inseparable, even writing really successful Harry Potter-esque fanfiction. Now Cath is left on her own to navigate classes, friendships, writing, family, and boys.

My Thoughts:

Okay, personal story time.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared that I had a really hard time my first semester at college. I was really good at high school, but college overwhelmed me. I was only ten miles from home, but I was homesick all the time and felt like all of my friends were fitting in so much easier than I was. I went through the motions – the classes, the parties, the drinking – but it was really hard for me and I wasn’t happy. (Ben actually helped me through it the best even though he was 100 miles away in Kalamazoo – my rough semester is probably why we’re together now).

So I connected to Cath immediately. I am not quite as nerdy (though I probably would have done better with an internet full of friends back then) and definitely not as socially awkward, but I really did connect to her.

It certainly helps that Rowell knows how to capture feelings like she practices magic herself. Fangirl is heartwarming, real, and funny. It examines family, friendship, romance and how these things change as life changes. If you haven’t picked up one of her books yet, you really must.

Blogger Recommend Challenge – October 2013

October is here. The weather is cooling down, people are going pumpkin-spice crazy, and the new releases are still rolling in. The October Bloggers Recommend Newsletter should have shown up in your inbox yesterday, but you can also check it out here.

A few of you posted reviews in September. Becky at No More Grumpy Bookseller loved The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.  Anita from Anita Loves Books definitely gets a gold star; she reviewed TWO books: My Mother’s Secret and Margot. And Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader just barely squeezed in a September review yesterday with Songs of Willow Frost.

I know a lot of you – myself included – are still working on those September books. I expect to see more people linking up reviews as we go along. Just link up any review you post in October here, whether it’s from the October newsletter or not. I think that will be the simplest way to keep up with them.

As for my October read, I am definitely looking at the new Mira Grant book, Parasite. What book(s) are you planning on reading?

Also, we need a twitter hashtag, but everything I think of is too long or not very descriptive. Thoughts?

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Blogger Recommend Challenge – September 2013

Seems September has sneaked up on me. Did you all get your Bloggers Recommend email yesterday? Have you had a chance to browse the books and choose which you want to read?

Fangirl is definitely on my list. I’m also eyeing The Explanation for Everything: A Novel, Burial Rites, This Song Will Save Your Life, and The Lowland (although I still need to read Lahiri’s LAST book). It must be fall if my TBR list is growing this quickly. Let me know in the comments which one (or five) you are most looking forward to diving into.

Once you’ve had time to read and review your chosen book(s), simply come back here and link up your review (or let us know what you thought in the comments if you don’t have a blog).

While challenge sign-ups are welcome anytime, today is your last day to sign up to be entered in the giveaway for Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

Enjoy your extra reading day this weekend (or your normal weekend, international friends).

The Bloggers Recommend Perpetual Challenge

Since I got such positive feedback from my earlier post, I’ve decided to make this challenge a bit more official. It will be a perpetual challenge and pretty relaxed, but I will post at least once a month so we can check in, share reviews, and see how everyone is doing.

The Rules:*

(1) Sign Up Below

(2) Subscribe to the Bloggers Recommend Newsletter.

(3) Once you receive a Newsletter, pick which book(s) you want to read as part of the challenge.

(4) Read the book(s).

(5) Link up any reviews you write about the book(s) (e.g., your blog, goodreads).**

(6) Repeat steps (2)-(4) the following month!

That’s it. I am starting this challenge to make the Bloggers Recommend Newsletter less overwhelming and even more awesome. You can decide how many books you want to read each month – there are no specific challenge levels. If you want to read one book one month and five the next, great. If you want to take a month off, no problem. This is a no-pressure challenge. Really.

The Giveaway:

And, if you need an extra incentive to sign up, three lucky participants who sign up by August 30, 2013 will win a copy of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Each participant will be given one entry and I will choose three winners using Many thanks to Bloggers Recommend for this giveaway.

There will likely be more giveaways in the future, so sign up and keep checking back!

The Sign Up:

The challenge will officially start with the September newsletter, so look for the linky to be up after the next newsletter goes out. Happy Reading!


*I am reserving the right to change the rules as we go if I see a need. I’m not usually a challenge hostess, so I’m just making it up as I go.

**We’re all pressed for time. and I unnderstand that you may end up reading a September book in October (particularly if it comes out in late September). You can link up any reviews you write that month, even if the book is from a prior month’s newsletter.

A Little Reading Challenge

EDIT: I am still getting comments on this post from people wanting to join. Please visit the official challenge sign up here or click the Bloggers Recommend Challenge Tab above for the latest posts.

Since its inception earlier this year, I’ve looked forward to my Bloggers Recommend email each month. Twenty upcoming books to look forward to.

But then I realize that I can’t read 20 books a month, so the excitement quickly turns to anxiety and I feel the weight of all the books I will never read.

Well I’m going to do something I can do. I am going to read one book from the Bloggers Recommend list each month.

So what should it be in August? (I was already going to read Night Film, so I want to pick something else).

PS – If other people are interested, I can turn this into an official challenge. Let me know.